Match Reports

Under-21s beaten by two late goals

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Moran on target but it's defeat in our Papa Johns Trophy opener against Colchester United.

By Bruce Talbot • 06 September 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Andrew Moran slots home our opener.

Two goals in the last ten minutes condemned our under-21s to a somewhat harsh 2-1 defeat against Colchester United in our opening Group A game in the Papa Johns Trophy on Tuesday. 

Andy Moran had given us the lead just before the break and although an experienced Colchester side twice struck the woodwork in the second half Albion had chances to extend their lead in an open and entertaining tussle.

But Frank Nouble levelled from close range and four minutes from time Freddie Sears volleyed the winner.

Albion made a great start and could have scored after just 24 seconds when Cam Peupion hit the left-hand post with a shot from the edge of the box.

Colchester keeper Sam Hornby made a great save three minutes later to deny Moran, who had been found of Evan Ferguson’s flick-on.

By Paul Hazlewood
Cam Peupion, Jack Spong and Jack Hinshelwood congratulate Andrew Moran following his goal.

Then defender Odel Offiah cut inside two defenders after a great run down the right but Hornby stood tall to block his shot.

Albion would have felt aggrieved not to be in front at that stage but Colchester, who made nine changes to the side which drew with Hartlepool in League 2 on Saturday, gradually got into the game and had opportunities of their own.

Kewsi Appiah fired an effort from the left-hand side of the box just past the far upright then former Albion youngster Tom Dallison headed a corner a yard wide. Appiah then got in after a mistake by Antef Tsoungui but the defender quickly got across to block his shot.

Colchester thought they had scored in the 40th minute when Tom Eastman stabbed the ball home after a scramble following a corner, but the referee ruled it out for offside after consulting his assistant.

By Paul Hazlewood
Evan Ferguson was a constant threat throughout.

Instead Albion broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute. Peupion played Moran in with only the keeper to beat and he steered a right-foot shot into the bottom corner.

The hosts nearly found the equaliser four minutes after the break when Nouble headed a right-wing cross to Appiah whose header beat James Beadle but hit the bar. They were denied by the woodwork again in the 56th minute when Nouble’s powerful close-range shot, after he had ridden Tsoungui’s challenge, rattled the upright.

The home side had got on top but Albion have had two chances to extend their lead on the break. Moran's slightly heavy touch when he was through allowed Hornby to come out and smother the ball and then Peupion's pass across the face of goal after Albion broke in numbers at pace just eluded Moran. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Andrew Moran goes close to scoring his and our second of the night.

At the other end Sears and Judge went close before Colchester equalised with ten minutes to go when Beadle couldn’t hold Bez Lubala’s low drive and Nouble swept home the loose ball from close range.

Ferguson twice tested Hornby in the closing stages but it was Colchester who clinched victory in the 86th minute when Nouble’s shot came back off the post and Sears reacted quickest to volley home.

Albion are back in Papa Johns Trophy action at Gillingham on October 4.

Albion: Beadle, Offiah (Packham 77), Turns, Tsoungui, Furlong, Spong, Peupion, Hinshelwood, Moran, Chouchane (Ifill 84), Ferguson.

Subs not used: Everitt, Nilsson, Cahill, Samuels, Barrington.

Referee: Alf Young

Attendance: 479